Thursday, January 31, 2013

Hagel's horrible day

Chuck Hagel did not have a fun day in the US Senate. He appeared bumbling and badly briefed. In fact, he exemplified my concerns from a few weeks back. He didn't answer straight on the Iraq surge - he should have admitted his mistake. He implied that Iran was a legitimate democracy - ???. He suggested that President Obama was focused on containing rather than preventing nuclear Iran - thus weakening the already weak (see Negatives-Iran) US policy. In short, this was a disastrous hearing (see clips here). Far worse than most political analysts expected. For me, Hagel's abysmal performance also raises a troubling secondary point. Why did Obama select him? I am increasingly convinced that the answer is domestic politics. Along with others, I believe that the President intends to use Hagel to try and bring a semblance of Republican legitimacy and cover to his second term defense plans. Proposals which I suspect will involve further military spending cuts. Anyway, I don't see how Hagel can get through after this. He might be a good man, but today he wasn't credible.

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